QFC and Fred Meyer eliminating all plastic grocery bags in stores

Friday, August 24, 2018

A large wad of plastic grocery bags
Photo courtesy Coupons in the News
According to the blog Coupons in the News, Kroger, the corporate owner of QFC and Fred Meyer,  has announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags and begin transitioning to reusable bags in all 2,779 of its grocery stores, starting in Seattle.

“Our customers have told us it makes no sense to have so much plastic only to be used once before being discarded. And they’re exactly right,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen wrote in an editorial that appears in today’s editions of USA Today and Kroger’s hometown Cincinnati Enquirer. 
“As America’s largest grocer, we recognize we have a responsibility to cut down on unnecessary plastic waste that contributes to litter, harms the environment and, in some cases, can endanger wildlife.”

So, beginning with the Seattle-based chain QFC / Fred Meyer and rolling out to other Kroger-owned chains over the next several years, plastic bags will no longer be offered. QFC expects to complete the transition by next year, with all Kroger stores going plastic bag-free by 2025. During the transition, shoppers will first be offered paper bags, then reusable bags will be available for sale, at a dollar or two apiece.

And the change won’t only apply to the bags you get when checking out. McMullen’s announcement doesn’t explicitly reference those clear plastic bags you use to wrap your produce and meat, but it turns out they will be phased out as well.

“We consider these bags to be a part of our phaseout project,” Kroger spokesperson Kristal Howard told Coupons in the News
“Of course, food safety is always our priority and as we increase awareness and use of reusable bags, we will need to ensure that fresh food is safely packed for the trip to our customers’ homes. We will work to identify alternatives that maintain our commitment to food safety first, and ultimately, phase out all plastic bags.”

Kroger cites estimates that some 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the U.S. every year, while less than 5% are recycled. Kroger offers in-store recycling bins to collect plastic bags, “but we recognize merely offering such services is not enough,” McMullen said.


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